Amazon has announced it is releasing an international version of the electronic book reader Kindle. The founder of the online retailer, Jeff Bezos, provided a glimpse of the international model in California yesterday. He said: "For the first time ever, Kindle is available for sale outside the US. Now, Kindle will work in a hundred countries. With Kindle you can be in France and get an English-language book within 60 seconds."
International versions of the e-readers can be ordered online through Amazon but shipping will not start until October 19. "Our vision for Kindle is every book ever printed, in print or out of print, in every language available," added Mr Bezos. For now, downloads are only available in English, although the giant online retailer has teams working on digitising books in other languages. Kindle has become the top selling item at Amazon since its US launch two years ago. It is also the most "gifted and wished for" product on Amazon's virtual shelves, according to Mr Bezos.
For every 100 ink-and-paper books Amazon sells, 48 digital editions are bought for reading on Kindles. Next year Amazon plans to release an international version of a sleek new Kindle DX model that hit the US market about five months ago. *AFP